Yuva Sai Sagar

Online news channel!

Tag: movement

Gujarat Elections 2017 | By not implementing OROP, Modi govt has betrayed our trust: Major Gen (retd) Satbir Singh

A group of war veterans today accused the Narendra Modi government of “betraying” their trust over the issue of the One Rank One Pension (OROP).They claimed that instead of agreeing to their demands for which the ex-servicemen had been agitating for long, the Centre was “insulting” them.The war veterans said the government was doing “injustice” by capping at Rs 10,000 per month the educational assistance it gives to children of martyrs or those disabled in action.”By not implementing OROP, the Modi government has betrayed our trust,” said Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, chairman of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement.During a press conference at the state Congress headquarters here, Singh maintained their movement was “apolitical” and they had requested the opposition party to raise their grievances in Parliament and also before the public.Also readGujarat elections 2017: PM Modi rakes up fishermen’s rights, OROPThe Modi government “insulted” ex-servicemen and their widows by arresting them and suppressing their protest using police, he alleged.”It has become a hallmark of the Modi government to suppress opposition voice. We would like to ask the BJP government at the Centre as to why it did not accept OROP in the form it was accepted by the then UPA government on February 17, 2014?” he asked.The UPA government had agreed to the definition of OROP which said that servicemen who worked for the same duration and retired on the same rank will be given equal pension, irrespective of their date of retirement, he said.”Why the Modi government did not accept OROP in the form accepted by the UPA government based on the theory of equality, thus denying benefits to ex-servicemen?” he asked.”The Modi government denied benefits of OROP to 40 per cent of the armed forces personnel and those who retired early, according to a notification issued on November 7, 2015,” the retired officer said.Also readWhy did Manmohan Singh not show courage to order surgical strikes post 26/11 attack: PM ModiHe raised questions over the Modi government putting the condition in the scheme that it will review pensions after five years when experts sought a review after two years.”Why is injustice being meted out to the children of martyrs by limiting their education expenses at Rs 10,000 per month?” Singh asked.He was referring to a Centre’s notification dated September 13, 2017, capping education expenses for the kids of martyrs or those disabled in action at Rs 10,000 a month.In November 2015, the Centre issued a notification, brining into force the long-pending OROP scheme, which it said, will benefit over 2.5 million veterans and war widows.However, the ex-servicemen had then rejected the notification, saying their main demands have not been accepted.In December 2015, the government appointed a committee to look into the anomalies, if any, arising out of the implementation of the scheme. The panel later submitted its report to the defence ministry.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>

2003 Mulund bomb blast accused walks to freedom

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Convicted for the 2003 bomb blasts, Saquib Nachan, Wednesday was released from Thane Central jail. Nachan was convicted for possessing weapons under the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) and was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment. After being released from prison, Nachan left for his native town of Padhga with his relatives.In 2002 and 2003, within a span of four months, there were four blasts at Mumbai Central, Vile Parle and Mulund railway stations that killed 12 persons. Nachan was accused by Mumbai Police as the mastermind of the blasts and he was arrested from Padgha of Thane district.Nachan was the former secretary of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Nachan completed 10 years of punishment out of which one year and eight months were spent as a convict at the Thane Central Prison, while the remaining period was spent as an undertrial.”I respect the judiciary system and after my release I wish to spend quality time with my family members,” said Nachan.”The prison authorities and conditions in the jail are proper. Now, as a grandfather, I would bring up my grandchildren,” said Nachan.It was a festive time for the guests and family members who thronged the residence of Nachan. Sweets were distributed in the locality and special dishes were made for the guests. “We are happy that Saquib Bhai has returned and we still feel that he was framed by the government for doing social work for our community,” said a local resident.

Linking of mobile with Aadhaar: Some people in Mumbai switch off mobile for an hour every day to register protest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of citizens in Mumbai have joined a movement of switching off their mobile phone for half an hour every day for 30 days to protest the linking of Aadhaar. The mobile has to be switched off from 11 am onwards for 30 days. The protestors also ask citizens to mail their protest to the chief justice of India (CJI) and seek opting out of Aadhaar. A template has been provided for the same. “The reason why I am supporting this is because these days for everything they are asking for Aadhaar. Even for the credit cards they are asking and want it to be linked. It seems that government wants to do some kind of surveillance on citizens. They are implementing Aadhaar without any thought process. Why they are not linking it with voter identity card is not known. That should have been done because it affects democracy and elections,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, resident of Dadar. “I have supported the movement. Since I am already a petitioner in Supreme Court in Aadhaar case and my case is going one, I do not have to write a letter to the chief justice,” said Vikram Krishna, a resident of Bandra who is actively supporting the movement and also sending emails in his contact list for people to support the movement. “Very simply any system that imposes arbitrary number is flawed approach. It is a very poorly designed programme. The user has no control and if the biometrics are lost, there is nothing to fall back upon. Aadhaar was designed to give identification to those who did not have one so that they can get schemes. When most people made Aadhaar, they had at least some identification. The DoPT has said that there is no last date for linking mobile but not many people know,” added Krishna. The mail sent also mentions how an 11 year old beneficiary of a scheme lost his life becuase Aadhaar was not linked to the ration card.

Ready to promote ties with ‘important neighbour’ India, says China after blocking move to list Masood Azhar as global terrorist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after blocking a move to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist for the fourth time, China on Friday said that it was ready to work with India to promote ‘constant progress’ of bilateral relationsA veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits.”We are ready to work with India to promote constant progress of bilateral relations guided by this diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for the new era,” said China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong “India is an important neighbour of China,” Chen saidHe further added that China plans to step up ties with neighbours under the “neighbourhood diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era” enunciated by President Xi Jinping.Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to visit India next month to attend the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting. In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India and then later by the US, the UK and France to declare Azhar as a terrorist, stating that there is no consensus on the issue.All other 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council were supporting the move by the US and France.This has led to bilateral discord between India and China as Beijing’s move has been seen as an attempt to shield Azhar on behalf of Pakistan.The relations between the two neighbours are also strained by a 73-day standoff at Doklam over Chinese army s plans to build a strategic road in the area also claimed by Bhutan.China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations.In September, the BRICS expressed ‘concern’ over the security situation in the region and the violence caused by the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Possible Pak link to attack, say experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Experts are claiming that Sayfullo Saipov, the man who carried out the New York terror attack may actually have been a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). This group is said to have close links with Pakistani militants. Though facts are still sketchy it is believed that Saipov, a US national, who arrived in the country from Uzbekistan in 2010, was influenced by and probably affiliated to the IMU. According to terror experts, the IMU, which is considered extremely close to the Islamic State, had its headquarters in North Waziristan, in Pakistan. As Professor Madhav Nalapat says, “Pakistani extremists and Uzbek extremists have very close links. There are multiple terror training camps in Pakistan, many protected by the Pakistan army. ISIS expert Khadim Hussain, based in Peshawar, confirmed that the IMU for a time was headquartered in North Waziristan. Prof Hussain confirmed that Pakistani and Uzbek extremists had close ties but added that it was “unfair” to single out and blame a state for global terrorism.

Fireworks sales down by 30 per cent due to GST

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Diwali is only a couple of weeks away, but firework sales are down by 30 per cent this festive season. The manufacturers in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi, the fireworks hub of India, attributed the fall in the production and sales to the negative impact of demonetisation and the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST).The economic factor has left an impact on the fireworks industry which is already facing the challenge of illegal import of low-cost firecrackers from China.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation announcement on November 8 last year, days after Diwali festival, had brought the industry to a complete standstill as the dealers delayed the payment by several months, said major fireworks manufacturer in Sivakasi.Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district in Southern Tamil Nadu is home to over 800 fireworks industries whose market is pegged at Rs 4,000 crore per annum.As the industry started recovering from the impact of demonetisation, 28 per cent GST on firecrackers delivered a deadly blow to the industry. “Prior to GST, we were paying only 2 per cent central sales tax while the consumers would pay 12.5 per cent central excise tax at the time of purchase. Now the manufacturers have to pay 28 per cent GST which is huge,” said Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association treasurer K Mariappan.Mariappan said that only 50 per cent of the usual production has been achieved this year. “We don’t know how much of this will reach the consumers. Especially since prices have gone up by 40 per cent for consumers,” he said.N Raja, founder president of TN Cracker Works and Workers Protection Movement, said, with GST increasing the manufacturing cost, and illegal Chinese crackers being available at one-tenth price, “Fireworks industries survival depends on the retail sale during Diwali. So far the sale of crackers is down by 30 per cent compared to last year.”SIVAKASI WOESSivakasi in Tamil Nadu is home to over 800 fireworks industries with an annual market pegged at Rs 4,000 crore.
The manufacturers say only 50 per cent production was achieved this year as the prices have gone up by 40 per cent for consumers.

13 workers have been murdered: Amit Shah launches yatra in Kerala to raise awareness about political violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking about the event, Amit Shah said that Yatra was to invoke ‘awareness’, and they had chosen Kannur because most murders took place there.He said: “Yatra is to invoke awareness. 13 workers have been brutally murdered in a short span of time. If we don’t bring awareness now, they won’t stop. Chose Kannur because most murders took place here. Movement to go on till Oct 17, also in Delhi & all state capitals. Then we’ll take out huge ‘Jan Sampark Abhiyan’ in Kerala.”He added: “Movement non-political. Wanted to stand with our workers and their families and make situation where there’s no further political violence.”Scores of BJP-RSS workers and the state’s ruling CPI-M cadres have been killed in violent clashes over the years, and the saffron party is keen on highlighting these to expand its base in the southern state where it has been a marginal player.The ‘Janraksha Yatra’ with the theme “All have to live! Against Jihadi-Red Terror” began from the Gandhi statue here this afternoon where Shah hit out at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the “political killings”.Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam, MPs Suresh Gopi and Richard Hey, former Karnataka Education Minister C T Ravi, BJP Puducherry president V Swaminathan, and many other BJP leaders and workers joined the foot march.Shah, on a three-day visit to the state, led the march after paying floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.The ‘Janraksha Yatra’ (March for Protection of People) that began from Payyanur will pass through several parts of Kerala before concluding in state capital Thiruvananthapuram on October 17.Today’s yatra will conclude in Pilathara, about 8 km from Payyanur.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanadh will join the march tomorrow from Keecheri to Kannur, Vijayan’s home town and the hub of the political violence.Joining the rally, hundreds of BJP workers, mostly from Kannur and Kasargod districts, raised slogans against political violence under the CPI(M)-led LDF government.BJP has alleged that as many as its 120 workers have been killed, 84 in Kannur alone, since 2001. It has claimed 14 of these killings have taken place since Vijayan took over the reins of the government last year.The CPI(M) has, in turn, accused the BJP-RSS combine of unleashing violence and denied any role of its government and cadres in it.Several Union ministers will join the march in different stages, party leaders said.

Sushma Swaraj’s New York stint charts a global role for country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s frontal assault on Pakistan at the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) plenary session may not change ground situation so immediately, experts here believe that her week-long packed scheduled of super diplomacy in New York has laid down the groundwork for India’s terms of engagement with the world to seek a greater share of responsibility. Coming back in action, after her kidney transplant a year ago, the swashbuckling Swaraj attended 20 bilateral meetings with an array of world leaders, 13 multi-lateral engagements and one tri-lateral session lined up for her, which it is understood has injected dynamism into Indian diplomacy, accustomed to a leisurely pace.Though her office had prepared draft for her speech, which Swaraj delivered with a fury and fire at the UNGA, she had devoted Friday evening and Saturday morning to fine-tone it herself to incorporate a stern message to Pakistan. She mentioned Pakistan 15 times and world terror 17 times in her speech, as against 2015 and 2016 speeches, where Pakistan was mentioned 3 and 6 times only. Pakistan PM Shahid Khakan Abbasi had mentioned Kashmir’ 17 times, and ‘India’ 14 times.Upon reaching New York last Monday, she immediately kicked off her engagement with a trilateral meeting with her American and Japanese counterparts Rex Tillerson, and Taro Kono respectively. The meeting was significant amid the recent Doklam stand-off and China flexing its muscles. Referring to North Korea’s nuclear testing, she made a strong push for investigations to hold those involved in non-proliferation accountable. In other words, demanding an action and investigations into Pakistan and North Korea nuclear tie-up.She also had a one-to-one meeting with Tillerson, where she strongly raised the issue of H1-B visa, the most sought after by Indian IT professionals and also regional issues with a focus of Pakistan, Afghanistan and terrorism. They also discussed the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which the US and India will co-host in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30. The American delegation would be led by Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the US President Trump.Her most important engagement in the context of current Rohingya refugee crises was with the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. While on on September 15, hours after her ministry had announced Operation Insaniyat, she had talked to the Bangladeshi PM on phone at the instance of the Prime Minister Modi, they had an on-board interaction on way to New York as they took the same Etihad Airways flight last Sunday from Abu Dhabi to New York. Both of them met again in New York. Swaraj is now expected to visit Dhaka next month for bilateral talks. Officials said Modi had asked to use a personal camaraderie to assuage Bangladesh’s concerns on Rohingya issue. For Modi government, the balance between Myanmar and Bangladesh has been a tightrope walk.Displaying aura of an emerging world power, she while attending conclave of foreign ministers of CARICOM, an organization of 15 Caribbean nations, she pledged emergency aid of $200,000 to the worst-affected countries by recent hurricanes in that region. She also announced another $2 million fund from the India-UN Partnership Fund for South-South Cooperation for the rehabilitation projects in the region.She had opportunity to rub shoulders with her Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif around the tables of ministerial meetings of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and at SAARC . On both occasions, she stressed the primacy given to removal of terrorism. “Regional prosperity, connectivity and cooperation can take place only in an atmosphere of peace and security. It, however, remains at serious risk in the region… It is necessary for our region’s survival that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support,” she said at the SAARC ministerial meeting.Admitting that Saarc had failed to live up to its objectives not being able to set up a free trade system or connectivity in the region because of non-cooperation of a single country (Paksitan), Swaraj was seen investing her energies in the multi-lateral forums like BIMSTEC, a Bay of Bengal Initiative involving Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal, BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) at the regional level. Modi government is encouraging these sub-groupings minus Pakistan to take up projects of physical connectivity, along with rail and power-sharing systems, into a new model of cooperation.Swaraj while attending the meeting of Non-Aligned Movement ( NAM) foreign ministers, assuaged the grouping that it still has a special place for India. She also reminded that India was a major contributor to the UNGA mandated UN Relief and Works Agency delivering valuable public services to Palestinian refugees around the world. India has been voluntarily contributing to the UNRWA for several years. In 2016, India contributed 1.25 million dollars towards its budget.SMOOTH OPERATORSwaraj reminded UN how India contributes vastly to its Relief and Works Agency
She said Non-Aligned Movement nations held a special place for India

Gorkhaland crisis reaches Delhi, GJM leaders seek Centre’s intervention

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the shutdown in Darjeeling completes third month, there are signs that the Gorkhland agitation is about to reach Delhi.In what can be termed as growing resentment between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the West Bengal government, GJM president Bimal Gurung has said that a delegation of leaders from the hills will reach Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to seek his intervention for initiating a tripartite talks.“The Bengal government has made its stand clear by saying that it was beyond the state’s jurisdiction. Now it is up to the Centre to act promptly and start a tripartite talk,” he said in the audio clip released from an undisclosed location.The team that will leave for Delhi would comprise Kalimpong MLA Sarita Rai, Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma, central committee members Swaraj Thapa and Kalyan Dewan and some members of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC).Gurung said they had been called by Singh for a meeting where they would raise the issue as they also want peace to return in the region.As the indefinite strike entered the 85th day, Gurung blamed the state government for the deadlock, saying that ‘the state government didn’t want peace at the hills’ and also alleged that the government was responsible for the blasts at the hills.“The state government is behind the blasts at the hills and attempts are being made to frame me for the incident. The intention is to keep me away from the hills and use some renegade leaders to put an end to our Gorkhaland movement,” Gurung added.After GJM leaders met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other state leaders and Binay Tamang announced that strike would be suspended till September 12 when the next meeting is scheduled, Gurung said it was a betrayal with the movement.Later Anit Thapa carried out peace rallies at the hills urging people for resumption of normal life till September 12.At a time when the split among the GJM leaders is out in the open, school authorities at the hills are in two minds whether to open schools.Father Shajumon CK, Rector, St Jesoph’s School at north Point said they were trying to normalise things but that was proving to be a big challenge. “Unless traffic situation is normal pupils wont be able to come over to school. Classes for our senior students are being conducted at the town and we hope this problem is solved soon,” he told DNA.Ravindra Kumar Subbah, director, Himali Boarding School said that 98 per cent of their boarders were back and he pinned his hopes on the next meeting on September 12. “I am cautiously optimistic that even if the strike continues, I hope the leaders consider keeping schools out of it looking at the academic losses of students,” he told DNA.Partha De, headmaster, Mount Hermon School said that the school was located at a very sensitive place and even some of the teachers who stay outside the district were unable to return. “Puja holidays are round the corner and even if the strike is lifted soon, we might have about a week’s class before the puja holidays,” he said.Authorities of all the schools have however, agreed that once school reopened they would only concentrate on studies to complete the syllabus and curtail all co-curricular activities such as annual concert and sports.

GMCC calls meeting to decide on attending August 29 talks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) has convened a meeting on August 25 to decide whether to attend the August 29 dialogue, as proposed by the West Bengal government, after it was left in a quandary over the GNLF’s letter to the state administration, requesting for a discussion on the Darjeeling stalemate. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and the GMCC leadership are in a fix over whether to attend the dialogue as they are yet to receive any official invitation from the state government. The GJM held a meeting to discuss the matter and decided that the GMCC would take a final call on August 25. Several GJM leaders have expressed displeasure over the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) unilaterally writing to the state government, asking for a discussion on the Darjeeling situation. “We will discuss the matter at the GMCC meeting on August 25. A dialogue without the GJM or the GMCC, which are the main stakeholders in the Gorkhaland movement, can never be successful. We will wait and see whether we get an official invitation from the government,” a senior GMCC member, who is also a senior leader of the GJM, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Modi has transformed India into a fast growing economy:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed India into a fast growing economy of the world within a short period of time, Union minister Harsh Vardhan claimed here today. “In order to provide transparency and accountability in governance, the NDA government at the Centre has so far enacted over 100 laws and reduced corruption which was open during the previous regime,” he said while delivering a special lecture on the vision of Modi for a ‘Naya Bharat Manthan – Sankalp se Siddhi’ to celebrate 75-years of Quit India Movement. Taking a dig at the Congress, the Union Science and Technology minister alleged that the party is “synonymous” with scams and corruptions like Commonwealth Games, 2G and Coal scam. “The laws enacted during the Congress regime which encouraged corruption were thrown out to the dustbin and the NDA government enacted more prudent laws to provide accountability and transparency in governance without zero scope for corruption,” he said.. Vardhan said, the Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech appealed the people of the country to prepare a vision for a New India in tune with the 75 years of the Quit India Movement started in August 9, 1942, for a developed nation within 2022. “Let us pledge and work together for a developed India, the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. Stating that the rich culture and heritage of the country was being recognised globally, the minister said that the people should feel fortunate to be a part of a great democracy. “The life we are enjoying today is because of the supreme sacrifices made by our great leaders for independence,” he added. While lauding the Arunachalees for their Hindi oratory skill, the minister said that the Centre is committed for development of North East with Prime Minister himself taking keen interest with a concrete vision for the region. “Modi is a unique person who attaches priority to all the regions being neglected earlier and became a symbol of expectations of all Indians,” the minister added. Vardhan who reached the state capital in the afternoon on a two-day visit to the state, would take part in a cleanliness drive at Rama Krishna Mission Hospital here tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gandhi Maidan to be transformed as ‘city square’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Historic Gandhi Maidan in the heart of the town would be transformed into ‘city square’ as prevalent in prominent cities abroad and it would be made the “most happening place” by facilitating various activities. This was announced by Commissioner of Patna, Anand Kishore, here today. Many plans are being readied for the Maidan to make it the “most happening place”, he said after inaugurating a food court in the Maidan. Kishore also started a Facebook page under the name ‘TOB’ (Taste of Bihar) and a portal, “tasteofbihar.co.in”, to dish out information regarding the delicious cuisine available in the food court and upcoming events in the maidan. Several political movements were launched in the Gandhi Maidan, earlier known as Patna Lawns, before and after the Independence. The Quit India Movement of 1942 was launched from this Gandhi Maidan where great leaders of the past like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan delivered their speeches. A 70-feet tall bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi, stated to be the world’s tallest statue of the Father of the Nation, is situated on this Maidan, situated near the Ganga.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Baba Ramdev unfurls 100 ft tricolour

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has hoisted a 100 ft tricolor, on Tuesday at Patanjali Yogpeeth here. India is celebrating its 71st Independence Day this year. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the ?Quit India Movement?, 100th anniversary of the ?Champaran Satyagraha?, and the 125th anniversary of Ganesh Utsav, as mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation from Red Fort today. Additionally, persuading the development of an India on the backdrop of the youth, Prime Minister Modi urged the formation of a ?New India?. ?January 1 2018 will not be an ordinary day; those born in this century will start turning 18, the ‘Bhagya Vidhatas’ of our country. Everybody is equal in our nation; no one is big or small. Together we can bring a positive change in the nation,? he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gorkhaland stir: Rajnath welcomes withdrawal of hunger strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh today welcomed the decision of the Gorkhaland statehood movement leaders to call off their hunger strike demanding a separate state in Darjeeling. Singh said by withdrawing the hunger strike on the eve of Independence Day, the leaders have shown “nationalist approach, political maturity & wisdom”. The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), an umbrella organisation of all the hill parties led by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), is spearheading the statehood agitation in the hills. “I wholeheartedly appreciate the decision taken by GJM president Shri Bimal Gurung & the GMCC to call off their indefinite hunger strike,” he said in a tweet. The decision came a day after the leaders met the home minister to apprise him of their demands. Singh had yesterday appealed to them to withdraw their indefinite hunger strike and agitation, which has been going on for two months. He also urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate dialogue with the movement leaders.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Morning Must Reads: Updates on Gorakhpur tragedy, suggestions pour in for PM Modi’s I-Day address, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gorakhpur tragedy: District Magistrate report punches holes in CM Yogi Adityanath’s claimReport into mass deaths of children at Gorakhpur medical college mentions oxygen supply ‘breakdown’, derails govt’s damage control. Read more here#DNAExclusive | Sonia Gandhi signals to party leaders: Priyanka Gandhi as working president?When the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met in New Delhi on August 8, supposedly to discuss the issue of the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, party president Sonia Gandhi had something else on her mind as well. Read more here #DNAExclusive: Army now wants ‘Made in India’ gear for terror opsSensor-based ballistic body shields, lightweight body armour that can replace heavy bullet-resistant jackets and a robotic surveillance system are just some of the equipment on the Army’s wish-list, keeping in mind challenges faced by security personnel during counter-terror operations in Kashmir. Read more here8,000 suggestions to PM for I-Day address, more pouring inIn his last Mann Ki Baat address, PM Modi urged people to share their ideas for his Independence Day address. Read more hereDormant bank accounts saw deposits rising eight-fold during demonetizationAbout Rs 24,220 crore were deposited into dormant accounts between November 9 and December 31, 2016, the window for people to return their old high-value notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 that were declared invalid. Read more here

Rajnath appeals for an end to Darjeeling logjam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh today appealed to the leaders of the Gorkhaland statehood movement in Darjeeling to call off their agitation, and urged the West Bengal government to initiate dialogue with them, a Home Ministry official said. During a two-hour meeting chaired by Singh here this evening, the leaders of the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) submitted a memorandum to the Centre detailing their demands. The home minister appealed to the leaders to call off the indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling, which entered 60th day today. He also requested the leaders to end their hunger strike, the official said. Singh also appealed to the West Bengal government to initiate dialogue with the Gorkhaland movement leaders to resolve their demands, the official said. The BJP’s Darjeeling MP S S Ahluwalia also attended the meeting. Swaraj Thapa, a leader of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is a part of the GMCC, said the home minister had told them that he was mindful of the sufferings of the people in Darjeeling. “We urged him to start the process for (creation of) a separate state. The state is suppressing our democratic movement,” Thapa said. The GJM leader said the home minister had appealed to them to end the agitation. “We will soon decide the future course of action,” he said. The GMCC, the apex body of the hill parties, had earlier said that it would continue the agitation for a separate state and sought the central government’s intervention to break the logjam. Two top leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has been ruling the autonomous hill council, Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, did not attend today’s meeting. Supplies of food and essentials were drying up due to the strike. Internet services have also been snapped in the hills since June 18, when the agitation started in protest against the West Bengal government’s decision to introduce Bengali as one of the subjects in schools in the hills. Except medicine shops, all business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed in the hills. Police and security forces patrolled the streets in the hills and kept a vigil on the entry and exit routes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Darjeeling unrest: Rajnath Singh invites GJM for talks today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh invited Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief for talks on Sunday to end the Darjeeling unrest.In a press statement, Gurung said, ”Today the GJM received an intimation from the Union Home Minister requesting us to join for talks on Sunday at 4.30 pm in New Delhi. Because the movement has today transitioned into a people’s movement with all the hill political parties as well as non-political bodies together- I have submitted this invitation for their consideration.””I am hopeful the hill parties leading the movement will attend this meeting and help find a possible road map for Gorkhaland statehood. I thank the honorable Home Minister for the kind invite and hope the central government will do justice for the Gorkha’s at the earliest,” he added.This is the second time when Union Home Minister appealed for talks in the recent past.The release was circulated after the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) held a meeting in Kalimpong on Saturday.However, it is confirmed that members of the GMCC will be attending the talks.

Ravi Shankar Prasad leads Tiranga Yatra in Patna

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad participated in Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Tiranga Yatra in Patna. On the occasion of ?Tiranga Yatra?, the union minister took the Pledge for New India. ?I took the Pledge for New India. Let us pledge to build New India by 2022,?said Ravi Shankar. He further said ?The entire nation supported Quit India Movement in 1942 and Britishers left India. On the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, I pledge that by 2022 we will build new India which will be free from corruption, terrorism, communalism and poverty.? He requested everyone to join the movement. Last year, BJP?s Bihar unit also took out Tri-colour journey in Patna from the Shahid Memorial located in front of the Bihar Legislative Assembly to Kargil Chowk.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Incessant rain & waterlogging paralyses normal life in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life was paralysed today in the Tripura capital as many areas of the town were waterlogged due to incessant rain since last night. Director of Meteorological department, Dilip Saha said the Regional Weather station here recorded 170.3 mm of rains till 12.00 pm today, which is highest this year. Sub-divisional Magistrate Samit Roy Chowdhury said, the town and its low lying outskirts were submerged in rain water and a few families were rendered homeless. Movement of people and vehicles came to a halt, many shops were closed and attendances in government offices, banks and schools and colleges were also thin due to incessant rains and waterlogging, sources said. Agartala recored a maximum temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, which is 6 degree Celsius less than normal temperature, the Met department said. Waterlogging was reported from Srilanka Basti, Pratapgarh, Aralia, Jogendranagar, Katashewla, Chandrapur, Baldakhal area of the town due to the rain.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RS loses much time over priority issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday the Rajya Sabha lost half a day as the treasury benches and the Opposition could not reach a consensus over which matter deserves priority and needs to be taken up first.While the Congress-led Opposition wanted to debate on the Chandigarh stalking case and printing of differently-sized new currency notes, the government wanted the House to take up the Banking Regulation (amendment) Bill.The House, which had earlier seen a discussion on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, witnessed two adjournments as the Opposition and the treasury benches didn’t budge from their respective stands before a hapless Chair, and the session had to be adjourned for the day.Consensus eluded even after the leaders of the two sides met in the presence of Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to break the deadlock. Those who attended the meeting after the second adjournment included Union Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma,Jairam Ramesh and Kumari Selja.Unsure that the Opposition will take the bill after completing discussion on the differently sized currency notes, Naqvi stood the ground to take the passage of the bill first. Pressing for a discussion on their issues including the Chandigarh stalking incident, the Congress-led Opposition trooped into the well, raising anti- government slogans.Even after intervention by Kurien, both sides remained defiant on their respective stands, leading to the premature adjournment of the House for the day.

UP Cong stages protest over multiple issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition Congress today held demonstrations in many districts of Uttar Pradesh over issues pertaining to farmers, unemployed youths, traders and labourers. Arun Prakash Singh, general secretary of UP Congress, said many party workers also courted arrest. Addressing Congress workers at party office here, in- charge of Jan Aandolan Samiti, Swayam Prakash Goswami said, “Congress will continue to raise issues pertaining to famers, youngsters, women, dalits, backwards amd minorities. We will definitely not get shaken or distracted by the BJP.” The party workers also took out a protest march from party headquarters to the GPO Park. The party is organising various programmes at all district headquarters of the state on the occasion of 75 years of Quit India Movement.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Kovind felicitates freedom fighters at first ‘At Home’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday felicitated 93 freedom fighters from across the country at his first ‘At Home’, presenting each of them with a gift that carried a personalised message from him, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman said.The President of the country hosts a function today on the anniversary of the Quit India Movement. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the movement, which called for an end to British rule in India. The President’s press secretary, Ashok Malik, said in a statement that each of the freedom fighters was gifted an electric kettle with a personalised message from Kovind. “I extend warm greetings to you on the 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement. The nation is proud of our freedom fighters and salutes them. This small token is our people s appreciation of your successful struggle against colonialism.I wish you happiness, good health and a long life,” was the President’s message on each gift. The function was attended by outgoing Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries. The President also released a set of eight commemorative postage stamps to mark the occasion.

Quit India 75th Anniversary: PM Modi hails freedomf fighters, Sonia Gandhi takes jibe at RSS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Invoking the spirit of Quit India Movement, Parliament on Wednesday pitched for strengthening secularism and democracy amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a determined effort by all sections to rid the nation of ills like communalism, casteism and poverty by 2022.Congress President Sonia Gandhi, however, warned that the “forces of darkness” were trying to destroy the roots of democracy and the “clouds of the politics of division and hate” are hovering over the plural and egalitarian values enshrined in the Constitution.Parliamentarians paid rich tributes to the freedom fighters and recalled their sacrifices as both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha took up a special discussion on the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement launched on this day in 1942 by Mahatma Gandhi.Leaders from all parties were unanimous in underlining the need for strengthening democracy and secularism even as some in the Opposition equated the current situation to that prevailing during the colonial days.Some Opposition leaders contended that democracy and secularism was under threat today, with CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury warning against creation of “Hindu Pakistan”.The prime minister, who initiated the discussion in the Lok Sabha, underlined that everyone would need to rise above political and ideological affiliations to rid the nation of ills like communalism, casteism, poverty, corruption and dirt.He said ideological differences, which are there today, existed even during the freedom struggle and despite the different approaches, everyone had worked for the common goal of Independence.Corruption, poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition are the greatest challenges that India now needs to overcome and to do that, there is a need to create the same spirit that existed between 1942 and 1947, he said.Setting 2022, the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence as the target year, Modi said people should take a pledge of ‘Karenge, Aur Kar Ke Rahenge’ (We will do and surely do).”In 1942, the clarion call was ‘Karenge Ya Marenge’ (Do or Die) – today it is ‘Karenge, Aur Kar Ke Rahenge.’ The next five years should also be about ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’, a resolve which will lead us to accomplishment,” Modi said.He said in the next five years till 2022, India must try to bring positive changes so that it can become inspiration for many other nations.India’s freedom from colonial rule was not only about India, but a defining moment in ending colonialism in other parts of the world too, the Prime Minister said.He said from 1857 to 1942, the move towards freedom was incremental, but the years from 1942 to 1947, were transformative and delivered on the objective.”In 1942, conditions internationally became favourable for India to get independence. Today again, the global conditions are favourable for India,” he said.The prime minister hailed the role of freedom fighters, saying the struggle for independence saw participation of people from all sections, responding to Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call in 1942 of ‘Do or Die’.During his nearly 30-minute speech, he remembered the role played by different leaders in different period of times which include Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jai Prakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad and Raj Guru and Sukhdev.Modi recalled that even as many senior leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were jailed at the beginning of the Quit India movement, a new generation of leaders emerged to fill the vacuum and take the movement forward.”The Quit India movement marked the rise of a new leadership. They supported Mahatma Gandhi during the movement,” he said.Modi said the recollection of movements such as the Quit India was a source of inspiration and the current generation has a responsibility of passing on the legacy of such movements to the future generations.While talking about the success of collective efforts, he referred to the rollout of the GST and said it could not have been possible without the cooperation of all parties.He said a similar approach would be required to resolve the problems of the country.Speaking after Modi, Sonia Gandhi said, “It seems secular, democratic and liberals values are being endangered. The public space for debate and difference of opinion is shrinking… “Have the forces of darkness emerged? Is there a fear about the existence of a sense of freedom? Are attempts being made to destroy roots of democracy which is based on equality, social justice, law-based system and freedom of expression?” She took digs at the BJP and its ideological mentor RSS, without naming them.”We should not forget that there were people and organisations which had opposed the Quit India movement and had played no role in getting our country freedom,” she said.BJP member Kirron Kher shouted “travesty, travesty”, as Gandhi made these remarks but was signalled from the treasury benches to remain quiet.The Congress has often accused the RSS of playing no role in the freedom movement, a charge vehemently denied by it.People have to fight for the India they believe in, which is loved by one and all and which was envisioned by the freedom fighters, Gandhi said.”We can and will not allow the idea of India to be a prisoner to narrow mindedness, divisive and communal ideology.If we have to preserve freedom, we will have to defeat the forces endangering it. We can’t and we won’t allow sectarian forces to succeed,” she said, asking people to defeat such “repressive” forces.She also underlined the contributions of the Congress and Jawaharlal Nehru to the landmark episode in India’s struggle for independence, adding that her party’s workers had made countless sacrifices.After about 4 hours of discussion during which leaders of all parties spoke, the Lok Sabha unanimously adopted a resolution, pledging to work tirelessly in the next five years to build a nation as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters.”We, the representatives of more than 125 crore people, resolve to take along every citizen in working towards building a nation as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters by 2022 when we will celebrate 75th anniversary of our independence,” the resolution said.The resolution, read out by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, said, “We shall remain committed and dedicated to build a strong, prosperous, clean and glorious India which is free of corruption. We are committed to welfare of all sections and promote harmony and patriotism.”In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House Arun Jaitley said it was the day to commit to make the country a strong, just and economically-progressive country.He underlined the need for freeing the country from all kinds of violence, be it in the name terrorism, politics or religion.Jaitley, who holds the portfolios of Defence and Finance, said the country still faces challenges to its security and sovereignty but the armed forces were capable to deal with these.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad targeted the ruling BJP by equating yesterday’s developments related to the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat to the events witnessed when the Quit India Movement was launched on this day in 1942.After three hours of discussion, the Upper House also adopted a resolution pledging to build a strong, self-reliant, secular and democratic India.Moving the resolution, Chairman Hamid Ansari said the House recalls that 75 years ago, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call to people for “do or die” to end the British Rule while asking the British to quit India.He said the House observes “on the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement that it is important to remember the heroic struggle of people, students, peasants, workers and government officials who defied the brutal oppression of the British Raj to launch mass Satyagraha that shook the very foundation of the British Rule.”The House “solemnly takes a pledge to uphold and safeguard the values and ideals of the freedom movement and rededicate ourselves to build an India that is strong, self- reliant, inclusive, secular and democratic,” Ansari said.

Azad equates Gujarat RS polls to Quit India Movement events

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad today targeted the ruling BJP by equating yesterday’s developments related to the Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat to the events witnessed when the Quit India Movement was launched on this day in 1942. He trained his guns at the BJP in the Rajya Sabha while participating in a special debate to commemorate 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement. “I don’t want to mention the incidents of the last night. It looked like the same night (August 8/9, 1942) because the developments kept us awake till morning,” the Congress leader said. He was referring to the bitter fight witnessed during counting of votes in the Rajya Sabha polls which ended after the Election Commission declared votes of two rebel Congress MLAs as invalid, resulting in the victory of Ahmed Patel of the Congress. “I don’t want to bring politics because today it’s a different occasion. But yesterday’s night and day were the same,” the veteran Congressman said, equating it to the events of 1942. Referring to the August 7-9, 1942 events, Azad said that night a resolution was passed and Mahatma Gandhi gave a clarion call. Mahatma Gandhi, the then Congress president Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel were arrested on the same night and the Congress was banned on August 9, 1942, Azad recalled. Even newspapers — National Herald, in which Nehru used to contribute, and Young India and Harijan, in which Mahatma Gandhi contributed, were banned. “It is now a different issue that we are fighting for the newspapers which were mouth piece of India’s freedom movement,” he quipped. In another apparent jibe on BJP and RSS, Azad said he did not want to go into details which parties participated in the Quit India Movement and which opposed it. “This is a history and the entire information could be found on Wikipedia and Google,” he said. At this point, CPM leader Sitram Yechury said internet was not working. To this, Azad said the country has defeated the “mightiest powers” and one should not be afraid of such small issues like absence of internet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Quit India’ anniversary: Tributes paid to martyrs in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today paid tributes to the martyrs of the country’s freedom struggle, on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. Fadnavis tweeted, “My salutations to all freedom fighters for their sacrifice for Bharat Mata and on August Kranti Din!” Various events were organised here on the anniversary of the Quit India movement, which has been one of the major milestones in the history of India’s struggle for independence. At the main event held in August Kranti Maidan here, floral tributes were paid to the freedom fighters and those who laid down their lives in the struggle for India’s Independence. It is the same ground from where Mahatma Gandhi gave the clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ for independence. The movement of disobedience was launched in August 1942 with Mahatma Gandhi’s call for immediate independence made at Mumbai’s Gowalia Tank, which is now well known as August Kranti Maidan. On the Quit India movement’s anniversary last year, the Maharashtra government had launched the ‘Quit India 2- from Swaraj to Suraj’ initiative at the historic ground, stressing on freedom from illiteracy, farmer suicides, wastage of water, addiction among youth and corruption.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Secularism,_free_speech’_in_danger_Sonia_Gandhi_attacks_BJP-RSS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a veiled attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Congress President Sonia Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha today, that there are some organizations in the country which have no role in the freedom struggle and had vehemently opposed the Quit India Movement. Speaking on the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement, Sonia said, ?We must not forget that some organizations opposed Quit India Movement. Such organisations have no role in freedom struggle.? Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, she said the politics of hatred and revenge is prevailing in the country which has left no place for open debate and discussion. ?Today it looks secularism and free speech are in danger: There is politics of divide; if we have to preserve freedom, we’ll have to defeat forces endangering it,? she added. Recounting the freedom struggle of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and other Congress leaders, Sonia said, ?During freedom struggle, Pandit Nehru spent several years in jail, many Congress workers died in jail. A lot of atrocities were committed on the protesters during the Quit India Movement but no one stepped back.? Earlier in the day, observing the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the nation to make India free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, casteism, communalism and to create a ‘New India’ by 2022. The Prime Minister took to his Twitter handle to praise the sacrifices of all the bravehearts who were part of the movement to free India from the British rule. “On the 75th anniversary of the historic Quit India movement, we salute all the great women & men who took part in the movement (sic),” he tweeted. “Let us pledge to free India from poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism, communalism & create a ‘New India’ of our dreams by 2022 (sic),” he added. Prime Minister Modi appealed to the people to create a nation on which the country’s freedom fighters would be proud of. “In 1942, the need of the hour was to free India from colonialism. Today, 75 years later the issues are different (sic),” he tweeted. “Let us work shoulder to shoulder to create the India that our freedom fighters would be proud of. #SankalpSeSiddhi (sic),” he added. He also praised Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi for launching and leading this campaign which helped India to gain freedom. “Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, the entire nation came together with the aim of attaining freedom (sic),” he tweeted. The nation is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. A number of events are being planned at organisational and local levels to mark the occasion. This year’s theme is “Sankalp se Siddhi- the attainment through resolve. The Quit India Movement was an important milestone in the Indian freedom struggle. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India came together to uproot imperialism.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Political descandants of those who opposed Quit India movement now hold high office: Sonia Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress president Sonia Gandhi today said the party must defend liberty and freedom of individuals and institutions and accused the BJP government of encouraging those who flout the law and unleash oppression.Speaking at a special CWC meeting here to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, she also expressed concerns over the rise in cases of “self vigilantism” and said not a day passed when the liberty of individuals was trampled upon.”The Congress party must always remain on the frontline in defence of liberty and numerous values associated with liberty, and the institutions that go with it. We must never bow before those who assault the liberty of the individual and of society,” she said.Hitting out at the BJP and the RSS, she said as the Congress saluted the patriots who struggled, “we must not forget that there were organisations and individuals who opposed the 1942 movement and actually collaborated with the colonial government. Their political descendants are the very people who today hold high office and have arrogated to themselves the role of torch bearers of our freedom.” The CWC passed two resolutions on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement and rededicated itself to uphold and defend the idea of India as envisioned by the leaders of the freedom movement.It also resolved to fight back and defeat the forces which seek to destroy the country’s heritage.The CWC, the highest decision-making body of the Congress, passed another resolution condemning the attack on party vice president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat.Rahul skipped the meeting as he was down with a viral infection and Sonia chaired it. A number of top Congress leaders including A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, P Chidambaram, Ambika Soni, Karan Singh, Digivijay Singh and Anand Sharma attended it.Sonia’s remarks come on a day when the party petitioned the Election Commission for cancellation of two votes of its “disgruntled” MLAs during Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat in which the Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel is contesting.Noting that she was anguished by the assault on freedom and the threat to liberty by self-appointed vigilantes, she accused the government of encouraging and empowering those who flouted the law.”Today many sections live in fear, none more than the minorities, the Dalits, the tribals and women. Not a day passes without an incident where the liberty of the individual has been trampled upon by anti-social elements or self appointed vigilantes.”Far from curbing their onslaught, the government of the day encourages and empowers them to flout the rule of law and unleash oppression. All this taken together is the biggest threat to liberty, and is the enemy of pluralism and diversity,” she said.AICC in-charge of communication Randeep Surjewala also said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concerns during the meeting about India’s youth and peasantry as also multiple problems persisting post demonetisation and GST.”The Congress has rededicated itself to those values and also resolved to defend the foundational values and principles of India’s constitution, its inclusive and secular and democratic character rand to defy the forces which seek to destroy our shared heritage,” he said.Sharma said the Congress Working Committee also took note of the serious attack on Rahul in Gujarat and condemned it in unequivocal terms.”To that effect the Congress has made it clear that the forces of violence leased by the BJP and its associates have no place in civilised public discourse and democracy. The Congress therefore is determined to fight back and confront and defeat the forces of violence and the resolution making it clear that Congress voice and truth cannot be silenced by such attacks,” he said.The meeting discussed the contribution of the Congress in the movement and paid homage to the thousands of party workers who participated in the movement on the “do or die” call given by Mahatma Gandhi and died due to the “brutal repression inflicted by the British”.Sonia said liberty is the lifeline of democracy and takes within its sweep, the freedom of speech, freedom to dissent, freedom of choice, freedom of worship, the rule of law, equality and social justice.”If any of these values is impaired, liberty itself will be diminished and curtailed,” she said.The resolution passed at the CWC also said that “taking note of and expressing its grave concern over the planned and systemic assaults on the foundational values of the country, and the constitutional rights of our citizens, the Congress re-dedicates itself to uphold and defend the idea of India as envisioned by the leaders of the freedom movement.” “The CWC on this historic day revolved anew to fight back and defeat the forces which seek to destroy our precious heritage,” the resolution said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Declassified docs on Quit India Movement, INA to be displayed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Declassified documents pertaining to the Quit India Movement and the Azad Hind Fauj will be on public display for the first time at the National Archives of India (NAI) from tomorrow. Around 100 such original documents tracing the history of India 1942 onwards have been declassified by the Home Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office. They will be displayed at an exhibition titled “Karenge ya Marenge – Chalo Dilli 1942-2017” to be held at the National Archives from August 8 to September 1. “All the original documents pertaining to the Quit India Movement and the Azad Hind Fauj will be on display for the first time. These are rare files which we have woven into a story tracing momentous events. It is mind boggling and is a great way of sensitising the youth about our history,” said Raghavendra Singh, Director General, National Archives. In 1997, the NAI had received 990 declassified files related to the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) from the Defence Ministry. Usually, if someone wants to access such files, they have to requisition the NAI with their details. “Anyone who is interested in the documents can now just sit and read them at the NAI,” Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP youth wing to launch ‘Unite India Campaign’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP’s youth wing will launch a ‘Bharat Jodo Abhiyan’ (Unite India Campaign) to mark the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, as part of which its president Poonam Mahajan will present tricolour to its state presidents to organise ‘tiranga yatras’. According to a Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) statement, it will hold an event tomorrow evening in the national capital as part of the campaign. The campaign is aimed at strengthening the belief of “One India, Great India” among the masses and sending out a “strong” message to “separatist and anti-national” forces, the statement said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier asked the party to carry out a nationwide exercise between August 9 and August 15 to mark the Quit India Movement anniversary and launch a ‘sankalp’ (pledge) yatra between August 15 and August 30.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre to celebrate 70th I-Day as Sankalp Parva

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre will be celebrating 70th Independence Day on August 15 as ‘Sankalp Parva’, the Ministry of Personnel said in an order issued last week. It also asked people to dedicate themselves to social causes and share their ideas to make a new India.DNA last week had reported about the government’s plans to celebrate Independence Day on the theme of ‘Sankalp to Siddhi’ as mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat.”This five-year period, from 2017-2022, gives us a unique opportunity of ‘Sankalp’ to ‘Siddhi’ towards a new India. Hence, 15 August 2017 will be celebrated as the ‘Sankalp Parva’ or the Day of Resolve, and in 2022 our nation will transform that resolve into ‘Siddhi’ or attainment,” the order stated, adding that this five-year period can ignite the transformation that will create an India, which our freedom fighters will be proud of.”In this spirit, let us go to www.newIndia.in, to make the Sankalp, take a pledge to become a builder of new India. Let us also encourage others to do the same. The text of the pledge will be shared by the ministry of information and broadcasting,” the order said.It also called the ‘Quit India Movement’ an important milestone and asked people to take a pledge to create a new India which is strong, prosperous and inclusive.”Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, people across India, in every village, city, transcending all barriers came together with a common mission to uproot imperialism,” it stated.

‘40,000 families affected due to Sardar Sarovar dam’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The issue of rehabilitation of nearly “40,000 families” in Madhya Pradesh, affected due to the Sardar Sarovar project, remains “unresolved” even as the water level has started rising after closure of the gates of the dam, a CPM leader and an activist today claimed. The affected families in the area of submergence, including “191 villages”, have resisted their eviction seeking proper rehabilitation, CPM leader and general secretary of All India Kisan Sabha, Hannan Mollah said. “The government is not listening to anything. We have approached the Supreme Court and are likely to be heard tomorrow in this matter,” Mollah said during a briefing by the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan and National Alliance of People’s Movement. He also urged social activist Medha Patkar, who is on an indefinite hunger strike for the past 12 days against alleged forced displacement of the affected families, to end her fast and lead the movement. Environmentalist Soumaya Dutta alleged that local police and administration in Madhya Pradesh were “forcing” the affected families to sign compensation bonds and leave their villages. He further alleged “both the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh government are lying about the figures of affected families” who have been given compensation. “There are around 40,000 families who have not been rehabilitated or are being rehabilitated in a shoddy manner although the government estimates a far lower number,” he said. The Centre though had informed the Rajya Sabha on July 31 that of the total 18,063 families affected by the project in Madhya Pradesh, 6,724 continue to live in submerged area. Of these, 884 project-affected families (PAFs) were in the process of shifting, Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Balyan had told the Upper House. The minister had also said that all the PAFs had been given resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) package as per the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) award and the Supreme Court order. There are no PAFs remaining in the submergence areas in Gujarat and Maharashtra, he had said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

GMCC meeting in Delhi tomorrow, Gurung says only GJM can

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All eyes are on a meeting of all the parties of the Darjeeling hills, to be held in New Delhi tomorrow over Gorkhaland, while GJM supremo Bimal Gurung today said only his party could withdraw the indefinite shutdown in the hills, which is going on for 47 days. The 30-member Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a body of all the hill parties including the GJM, formed earlier this month, is in Delhi for the meeting. It had held all of its earlier meetings in the hills. However, Gurung made it clear that the GMCC would not have any say as regards withdrawing the strike in the hills, apparently hinting at a crack in it. “The GMCC has no role to play as far as withdrawing the bandh is concerned. The GJM had called it and only the GJM can withdraw it,” he told a press conference here. Condemning the police action on the GJM workers, Gurung hit out at the West Bengal government. “All our programmes are being carried out peacefully and in a democratic way but unfortunately, the state government is trying to portray the movement as an undemocratic one and using brutal force to curb it,” he said. He also denied the allegations that the GJM had a “tacit understanding” with the Maoists. Gurung welcomed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Majeed Memon’s concern about the situation in the Darjeeling hills. Memon raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha and urged the government to invite the agitators for talks to restore normalcy in the affected region. Meanwhile, the GMCC has decided to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with a copy of the resolution, which is slated to be adopted at its meeting tomorrow. “We have decided to meet the home minister with a copy of the resolution. The Centre needs to take concrete action,” Munish Tamang, national working president of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Darjeeling: GJM gives 10-day ‘deadline’ to Centre to intervene

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills entering its 47th day today, all eyes are now on the all-party meeting, scheduled to be held in New Delhi tomorrow. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has given a 10-day deadline to the Centre to intervene in the logjam arising out of its demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland or else, it has threatened to intensify the movement in the days to come. “We have given a 10-day deadline to the Union government. An indefinite shutdown is going on for 47 days, the Centre can’t just sit idle when the hills are burning,” GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang told reporters last night. The 30-member Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), a body of all the hill parties, is in Delhi to take part in the all-party meet. The GMCC members have also decided to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with a copy of the resolution to be adopted at the meeting tomorrow. “We have decided to meet the home minister with a copy of the resolution. The Centre needs to take concrete action,” Munish Tamang, national working president, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Will keep Independence Day speech under 50 minutes- PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday promised the nation that he will keep his his Independence Day address under an hour. ?I have planned to keep my speech short this time not more than 40-50 minutes. For the previous three 15 August speeches, one consistent complaint has been that my speeches tend to be a little lengthy,? he said while addressing his 34th edition of his monthly radio broadcast of `Mann Ki Baat`. The Prime Minister also said that the month of August is the month of ‘revolution’ and appealed to the nation to celebrate August 15th (Independence Day) as ‘Sankalp Parva’ or ‘Day of Resolve’. “We should celebrate 15th August 2017 as the Sankalp Parva or the Day of Resolve. We have to take pledge to quit un-cleanliness, poverty, terrorism, casteism and communalism from India,” he said. He added that this year we are celebrating 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement. “The month of August is the month of revolution. The non – cooperation movement began on August 1, 1920. The quit India movement began on August 9, 1942. And India attained Independence on August 15, 1947. This year we are celebrating 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement,” he said. “The five years from 1942 to 1947 were decisive for country’s Independence, these five years from 2017 to 2022 must play decisive role for future. Five years from now, we will celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence,” he added. Prime Minister Modi also shared a fact with the younger generation and said that the ‘Bharat Choddho’ slogan was coined by Dr. Yusuf Meher Ali. “But very few people know the fact that the slogan, ‘Quit India’ was coined by Dr. Yusuf Meher Ali. The younger generations must know about the history. The sacrifices of freedom fighters between years 1857 to 1942 inspire us to build great nation. The nation kept on fighting to uproot the British rule,” he added. He also asserted that generation after generation changed but the determination to do something remained intact in the nation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Darjeeling unrest: Indefinite strike to continue, decide hill parties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After representatives of 16 parties met at an all-party meeting on Thursday at the hills for several hours it was decided that the indefinite strike at the hills would continue till their demands of Gorkhaland was met. The parties which partook in the meetingIncluded Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). It had also been decided that Gorkhaland would not be accepted without Terai and Dooars regions. “The united fight for Gorkhaland will continue. Terai and Dooars are integral parts,” said Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary, GJM during a press meet after the meeting.He also said that the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee had decided to form human rights and legal cells and collect proofs of human rights violation by the state. “The state-sponsored atrocities have not stopped. We will be collecting digital evidences of human rights violation,” he said. During the meeting chairpersons of different boards created by the state government have been asked to resign and had been asked to join hands with the Gorkhaland movement. Further decision would be taken in the next all-party meeting on July 18.
ALSO READ Darjeeling unrest | We will fight for months, may be years, says GJM chief Bimal GurungStrike at Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik and Kalimpong entered its 22nd day on Thursday and shops and schools remain shut. Hardly any vehicle was plying. GJM supporters continued to take out rallies at the hills amidst huge deployment of police. Political scientists said that the GJM intends to get a strong foothold at the Terai and Dooars region which has a mixed population of tribals and other communities.

All-party meet on agitation in Darjeeling hills today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the indefinite shutdown in the Darjeeling hills entered it 22nd day, all eyes are set on the all-party meeting convened by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Kalimpong area today. The meeting, slated to be attended by all political parties of the hills, is scheduled to begin at 1 pm. This is the third such meeting in 22 days. The first and the second all-party meetings were held on June 20 and June 29. The event will also witness the first meeting of the newly-formed Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC) and take a call on the ongoing agitation in the hills over the demand for Gorkhaland. The GMCC, chaired by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), has 30 members representing all the parties. The GJM has plans to take out rallies today, demanding Gorkhaland and burn copies of the GTA accord. Except pharmacies, all shops, schools and colleges remained closed. Police and security forces patrolled the streets and kept a vigil on entry and exit routes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

May 17 movement members move HC against Goondas Act detention

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Madras High Court today issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on petitions by four members of pro-Tamil outfit ‘May 17 Movement’ challenging their recent detention under the stringent Goondas Act. A division bench of justices A Selvam and P Kalaiyarasan directed the Additional Public Prosecutor, representing the state government, to file an affidavit before August 3 when the habeas corpus petitions filed by the four came up for hearing. G Thirumurugan, leader of the movement, and three others, submitted that they along with other members of the movement had assembled at Marina Beach here in May, to hold a memorial for Tamil victims of Sri Lankan ethnic strife. They were arrested for offences under various sections of the IPC and the TN Public Property (Prevention of Damages and Loss) Act and produced before a court here, which remanded them in judicial custody. Meanwhile, the City Police Commissioner passed an order detaining them under the Goondas Act on May 28, on the ground that they were involved in activities, prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. The petitioners contended that the detention order was “illegal, unconstitutional and passed without due application of mind” and sought it to be quashed. The bench also ordered notice on another habeas corpus petition by J Vivek of Madurai seeking to produce his 45-year- old wife Padma in the court and set her at liberty. Vivek alleged that while Padma was returning by train after medical treatment at Ernakulam, she was “abducted” by policemen in plain clothes at gun point. When the matter came up, Additional Public Prosecutor told the bench that several criminal cases were pending against the woman and she was absconding. The bench then directed the Q Branch Police to take appropriate steps and posted the HCP for further hearing to July 17.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bengal won’t be divided as long as I’m alive, says Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sent out a stern warning to the Centre and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) alike, saying that as long as she was alive, she would not allow the division of Bengal.”If you ask for food, clothes, shelter, education and other services, I will give it to you to the best of our resources. But if you want me to approve of the division of the state to create a new state, I will not allow it as long as I am alive. I have always been against such divisions,” she said at a public meeting at Burdwan district on Thursday. Alluding to the Centre, she lashed out saying, “You are not being able to solve the problem in Kashmir, you are looking at Darjeeling.”In another development on Thursday, sources at the Governor House said that the state had accepted the resignation of Bimal Gurung from the position of the chief executive of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).In the hills, as the GJM-called bandh entered day 15, an all-party meeting had been convened by the GJM on Thursday. The meeting, which lasted for about five and a half hours at a hotel in Kalimpong, saw the participation of nearly all major political and non-political organisations of the hills. It had been decided in the meeting that the bandh in the hills would continue. A committee — Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee — has been formed to plan the future roadmap for the movement demanding a separate Gorkhaland. Kalyan Diwan, vice-president, GJM Central Committee, would be the convenor of the committee, whereas DK Pradhan, the president of GJM’s Darjeeling sub-divisional committee, would assist Diwan.”The 30-member committee will lead the movement from hereon. We have demanded the intervention of the Centre in this issue and if the Centre is not responding, our senior leaders will put up an indefinite hunger strike,” said GJM assistant general secretary Binay Tamang.The term of the GTA ends next month. After all the 44 elected members of the GTA had put in their papers, there would either be a fresh election to the GTA, or the state would appoint an administrator to the semi-autonomous governing body.Swipe over gstMamata on Thursday fired a fresh salvo at the Centre over the implementation of GST.“First it was demonetisation. I had said before and I still say that in the future, a huge scam around demonetisation will be unearthed,” she said.

15 SIMI terrorists sentenced to three-year imprisonment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Around 15 terrorists affiliated to Students? Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were sentenced to three years of jail and a fine of Rs. 1000 was imposed on each for raising anti-India slogans within the court premises in Bhopal. Chief Justice Magistrate Rakesh Kumar pronounced the verdict. The accused have been charged under the section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts indented to outrage religious feelings and 153 B ((imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) of the Indian Penal Code. A total of 18 SIMI terrorists were arrested, out of which three accused, named Akhil, Khalid and Abdul Masjid, were killed in an encounter while attempting to break jail. The SIMI is a banned Islamist organisation that was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in April 1977. The government banned the organisation in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The ban was lifted in August 2008 by a special tribunal, but was reinstated by K.G. Balakrishnan, then Chief Justice, on August 2008 on security grounds.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Waqf Board to be formed by Aug 31: State government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a year-long legal battle, the state government on Friday stated it would constitute the Waqf Board by August 31, and issue notification for the election process soon.The high court first division bench of chief justice R Subhash Reddy and justice Vipul Pancholi disposed of the public interest litigation moved by the state convener of Seva Waqf Property Movement after recording the statement made by the state government, assuring it would hold elections for board members before August 31.As per the Waqf board constitution, the management committee should have seven members of which four are elected and the rest are state government nominees. As far as the elected members are concerned, there must be a Muslim Member of Parliament from the state, a Muslim member of State Legislative Assembly and a Muslim member of the Bar Council of Gujarat. The fourth seat is reserved for a ‘muttawali’ or trustee of the Waqf board. However, he has to file a nomination.The petition was moved in October 2016, and a notice issued to the state asking it to file a reply. The petition had sought a halt to auction of 26 properties owned by the board, the market value of which is around Rs200 crore.The second prayer was to direct the office bearers of the board to retire as their term had ended in February 2016. The third prayer was to appoint an acting CEO of deputy secretary level, instead of deputy collector level.

Bombay High Court says no to cutting freedom fighters’ pension

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The spirit of patriotism cannot be forgotten and buried in the books of Indian history. Freedom fighters, who unitedly fought for the freedom of the state or nation, irrespective of their cast, creed, religion are inspirations for the people in India to remain secular and United,” the Bombay High Court observed while setting aside a 2004, circular issued by Maharashtra Government, reducing pension of Rs 3,000 to Rs 500, given to freedom fighters, who participated in Goa Liberation Movement, Phase II, (1954­-55) and settled down in Maharashtra.A division bench of Justice RK Deshpande and Justice Swapna Joshi of the Nagpur bench, came down heavily on the government saying, “The impugned action can be described as abasing the freedom fighters and losing our own values and importance of the days of freedom struggle.”The petition was filed by 14 freedom fighters, challenging the government circular issued on November 16, 2004, reducing the pension granted under ‘Swatantra Sainik Samman Pension scheme. The government also sought to recover the extra amount of Rs 2,500 per month paid up to 2004, from 1986 when the scheme was introduced.The petitioners argued that government cannot revise or modify the amount. They relied on the details mentioned in the central government scheme which mentioned that it is in addition to the state pension scheme and for life time.The court also distinguished freedom fighters from retired employees of a Public Undertakings by stating, “We are of the view that freedom fighters stand on a higher pedestal than the employees in public employment though the grant of pension to them is a discretionary exercise.”Freedom StruggleDecember 19, 1961:Goa Liberation Movement was launched to end 435 years Portuguese rule in Goa.The revolt, demonstration and agitation gained momentum in the entire country.The large scale protest resulted in struggle, arrest and detention of participants. Freedom of Goa from Portuguese rule came on

Subramanian Swamy’s VHS to host national conference on cows in Mumbai on June 18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Cow is divine blessings… Over 98% of agriculture in India depends on cows… Dung of one cow is enough to fertilize five acre land… Cow milk and ghee helps develop the brain of children.”These lines are part of an animated film showcasing benefits of Indian breeds of cows. The film, made by Virat Hindu Sangam (VHS), is currently being shared on social media. The film is part of the VHS’ propaganda to mobilise cow-lovers ahead of the “National Conference on Bos indicus – The Glorious Indian Cows” slated to be held on June 18.BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy, the founder of the VHS, will deliver the keynote address in the conference. Over 750 “intellectuals” from all walks of life are expected to attend the show at the BSE complex.
ALSO READ Cattle slaughter ban: Meghalaya leader Bernard Marak quits BJPThe event is believed to be part of RSS and BJP’s ideology and consistent efforts to save Indian breeds of cows. Various government schemes and cow-shelter projects have been launched in last three years to conserve the indigenous bovine.Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Kamal Thapa, MoS Home Hansraj Ahir, Hrishikesh Mafatlal, chaiman of Arvind Mafatlal group and actor Vivek Oberoi are expected to attend the meet, Jagdish Shetty, an associate of Dr Swamy told DNA.Prior registration with a contribution of Rs 500 (which covers breakfast and lunch as well) till June 11 and Rs 1,000 after June 11 is required to attend this event, states the invitation card.A cow connect app and a book called “Capitalism, Communism and Cowism” written by Sahdeo Dasa will also be launched on this occasion. Farmers, breeders, cow herders and researchers will be felicitated during the event.The conference is focused on “Bos indicus” an indigenous breed of cows and its impact. The panel discussions and audio-visual presentations will cover cow and economics, cow and agriculture plus environment, cow and spirituality, cow and health etc.The invite, a copy of which is available with DNA, also gives a list of quotes highlighting cow preservation and its benefits.Timing of this conference is significant, say observers. “As Centre is in fire-fighting mode following strong opposition of its notification banning sale of cattle in agriculture markets, states like Kerala and West Bengal have threatened to take legal recourse against the move. The Movement has now spread to universities and IITs.”Unrest within the BJP is also coming to fore. The party’s Meghalaya leader quit over the issue on Thursday, while many others in the northeast states and Kerala find themselves in a tight spot.

Telangana CM extends financial aid to man injured in suicide attempt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday sanctioned Rs. 10 lakh financial assistance to Pidamarthi Nagaraju, who was severely injured in a suicide attempt during the Telangana Movement. The Chief Minister’s Office has given Rs. 10 lakh assistance to Nagaraju. In the year 2011, Nagaraju, a resident of Rayanigudem village in Garidepally Mandal in Nalgonda district made a suicide attempt by coming under the train in Miraylaguda but survived with severe injury.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai man held in Pak could be linked to SIMI, suspects ATS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra ATS suspects that Sheikh Nabi Ahmed, the Indian national arrested in Pakistan, could be the same person whose name had cropped up during the interrogation of people linked to the banned outfit, SIMI, a decade ago. Ahmed, a Mumbai-based businessman, was arrested on May 19 in Pakistan for not possessing travel documents. “The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has started collecting information about Sheikh and is in touch with Government of India,” an official said today. Nabi’s name had figured during the interrogation of the suspected members of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in 2005-06, which is available in the records of the agency, he said. “It is not known whether he is the same person or not. In order to get more information about him, we have been in touch with the Centre,” the official added. Sheikh, who was arrested for not possessing proper documents, has been booked for violating Article 14 of Pakistan’s Foreign Act.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Guj CM inaugurates new buildings to mark 57th foundation day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today inaugurated new buildings and launched a new scheme for elderly people to mark the 57th foundation day of Gujarat. Rupani, deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and senior ministers started their day by paying floral tributes at the statue of Indulal Yagnik, who spearheaded the `Mahagujarat’ Movement demanding statehood for Gujarat, at Lal Darwaza here. The Chief Minister then inaugurated a nursing hostel and a hostel for post-graduate medical students at civil hospital, an OPD block at GMERS Hospital, homeguard headquarters and a low-income group housing complex. He also announced allotment of Rs four crore for “Shravan Teerth Darshan Yojana,” under which those who are 65 or above will get 50 per cent concession on state transport buses for travelling to religious places. Rupani inaugurated a nursing hostel and a PG hostel, built at a cost of Rs 35 crore and Rs 62 crore, respectively, at the city civil hospital. His government had spent Rs 888 crore as of March 2017 on modernisation of civil hospital, he said, and announced that 600 additional nursing seats have been approved and 50 new nursing colleges will be opened in the state. Later, Rupani inaugurated Rs 16.38 crore homeguard headquarters building. It was a tribute to dedication and hard work of over 40,000 homeguard jawans, he said. He inaugurated an OPD block at GMERS hospital and announced that GMERS Medical College will offer 21 seats for PG course. His government was committed to increase medical seats to 5,000 in two years, and medical colleges will also come up in tribal districts such as Tapi and Narmada, he said. The Chief Minister also inaugurated LIG flats constructed at a cost of Rs 130 crore under Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana in Chandkheda locality.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tamil Nadu: Two more arrested for 2006 Kerala court complex blast

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two more members of a group inspired by Al-Qaeda were arrested from Tamil Nadu in connection with a bomb blast in a court complex in Malappuram in Kerala last year, police said on Monday.Abubacker and Abdur Rahman belonging to the ‘Base Movement’ were arrested from Madurai last night, they said.They were detained based on interrogation of five other members of the little-known movement detained by the National Investigation Agency in November last year in Madurai in connection with low-intensity blasts in court complexes including in Malappuram and Kollam in Kerala and Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh.A low-intensity Improvised Explosive Device had gone off in a car parked in Malappuram Judicial Magistrate Court complex on November 1, 2016. No one was injured in the incident.Police had then recovered pamphlets from the scene which linked the attack to ‘Base Movement’, sympathetic to Al-Qaeda and suspected to have been involved in low intensity blasts in various court complexes.

US govt report criticises India over human rights violations, corruption and lack of transparency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A US State Department report has panned the Indian government over alleged human rights violations, citing the police case against activist Teesta Setalvad and encounter killing of eight suspected SIMI activists in Madhya Pradesh.The report on ‘Human Rights Practices in India for 2016’ also referred to restrictions on foreign funding of NGOs, including some whose views the government believed were not in the “national or public interest”, female genital mutilation and dowry-related deaths as human rights problems in the country.It mentioned about rejection of renewal of government permission to 25 NGOs to receive foreign funds, including senior lawyer Indrani Jaisingh’s ‘Lawyers Collective’ and US-based Compassion International’s two primary partners, noting that several voluntary organisations said these actions threatened their ability to continue to operate in India.It said the UN special rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association published a legal analysis claiming that Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (a law that governs foreign funding) did not conform to international law, principles, and standards, after which the Indian government was asked to repeal the Act.The report termed the police case against Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and others for allegedly misusing donors’ fund as an instance of “governmental attitude regarding international and non-governmental investigation of alleged violations of human rights”.They were charged with embezzlement after donors claimed Setalvad, the founder of NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, misused 1.5 million rupees (USD 22,500) collected for building a memorial to the victims of the Gulbarg Housing Society massacre during the 2002 Gujarat riots.The Supreme Court granted the defendants anticipatory bail after repeated rejection of their pleas by lower courts in Gujarat.In July 2015 the CBI launched a second probe against Setalvad and Anand over alleged misuse of grants from foreign donors.The activists had alleged the authorities filed the case in retaliation for their work on behalf of the victims of the Gujarat riots, said the report.The killing of eight suspected members of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in a police encounter after they escaped from Bhopal central jail also found a mention in the report under a sub-section “arbitrary deprivation of life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings”.There was also a reference to the ‘Vyapam’ scam of Madhya Pradesh were glaring irregularities were alleged to have been committed in recruitment in government jobs and admissions to technical educational institutions.The report termed it as an example of “corruption and lack of transparency in government”.The CBI was investigating the death of 48 individuals allegedly linked to the scam over a span of five years. These included a journalist, who reported on the fraud, it said.”A lack of accountability for misconduct at all levels of government persisted, contributing to widespread impunity.””Investigations and prosecutions of individual cases took place, but lax enforcement, a shortage of trained police officers, and an overburdened and under resourced court system contributed to infrequent convictions,” the report said.The most significant human rights problems, as per the report, involved instances of police and security force abuses, including extra judicial killings, torture, rape and corruption, which remained widespread and contributed to “ineffective responses” to crimes, including those against women, children, and members of Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes.Other human rights problems included disappearances, hazardous prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, and lengthy pretrial detention, the executive summary of the report on Human Rights Practices in India alleged.Court backlogs delayed or denied justice, including through lengthy pretrial detention and denial of due process.”There were instances of infringement of privacy rights.The law in six states restricted religious conversion, and there were reports of arrests but no reports of convictions under those laws. Some limits on the freedom of movement continued,” it said.Rape, domestic violence, dowry-related deaths, honour killings, sexual harassment, and discrimination against women and girls remained serious societal problems, the report said.”Child abuse, female genital mutilation and cutting, and forced and early marriage were problems.”Trafficking in persons, including widespread bonded and forced labour of children and adults, and sex trafficking of children and adults for prostitution, were serious problems,” said the report, which has been shared with country’s social activists and others for their feedback.Bhopal-based activist Ajay Dubey, one of the whistle blowers in the Vyapam scam who has also been asked for his feedback, said India needs to strengthen its anti-corruption laws besides making provisions to provide protection to those exposing corruption and human-rights violation.

Police seize 14 cell phones in Baramulla sub-jail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir police have blown the lid off a major conspiracy behind stone-peltings after they recovered 14 cell phones from undertrials in the high-security Baramulla sub-jail on Sunday.This followed specific intelligence inputs about mobile phones being used by some detainees from jail premises to instigate stone-pelting in different parts of the valley.Two of the cell phones were seized from Hurriyat hardliner Masarat Alam, the architect of the 2010 unrest in Kashmir. “A joint search was launched by police and jail authorities in Baramulla sub-jail on the basis of information that some incriminating material, including unauthorised cell phones, is being used inside,” a police spokesman said.The police have also found that some of the terrorists in the jail were in touch with their mentors in Pakistan through WhatsApp.”There are some of them (inmates) who have had links across. They are already (accused) in certain FIRs wherein murders have been committed. There are quite a few militants there. So we have recovered some phones from them as well. They are on WhatsApp and we can see it that they were in touch with Pakistani numbers as well. We will looking into the whole issue,” said Imtiyaz Hussain, Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla.”An FIR has been registered and investigation is on as to how these articles, which are not authorised as per jail manual, entered the jail premises,” the spokesman said. “We are trying to find out who was in touch with these people. We are trying to find the call details and decode the WhatsApp data,” said a police officer.The crackdown comes against the backdrop of three people getting killed when security forces fired at a mob which was marching towards the encounter site at Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday. More than 63 security personnel, including 43 CRPF men and 20 policemen, were injured in stone-pelting there.Hussian told DNA that phones were used to instigate stone-pelting and step up militant activities in Kashmir.Alam, 45, was arrested on April 17, 2015, two days after he shouted pro-Pakistan slogans and called for Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan during a rally to welcome Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in which his supporters also unfurled Pakistani flags.In fact, he was arrested a month after he was released by the then Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government after almost spending four years in jail for leading the “Quit Kashmir Movement”, in which 120 youth were killed, mostly in security force firing on stone-pelting mobs in 2010.

Army readies for shift at senior positions as four senior officers retired

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The India Army readies for shift as four of its senior officials retired on Friday. The Deputy Chief of Army Staff (DCOAS) Lt. Gen Subrata Saha superannuated, Director General (DG) Rashtriya Rifles Lt. Gen G.S. Chandel , DG Movement and Transport and Lt. Gen R.K. Sharma donned the Olive Greens uniform for the last time. Lt. Gen S.K .Patyal took over as the new DCOAS and the rest of the posts are yet to be finalised. Lt. Gen. Patyal was earlier the Commander-in-Chief of the Leh based 14 Corps before taking over as the DG Military Intelligence (MI). The post of the DGMI will be vacant till the time new incumbent is decided.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Digvijay stands by remark against madrassas, RSS schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh today refused to withdraw his statement that schools run by madrassas and the RSS spread hatred. The Hyderabad Police had last month registered a case against Singh over his social media post criticising the Muslim madrassas (seminaries) and the RSS-run Saraswati Sishu Mandirs. These schools “spread hatred”, the Congress leader had said. “Whenever Digvijay Singh attacks the Hindu fundamentalism, the Muslim clergy loves it, but whenever I say something about the religious fanatics in the minority community, they have an issue,” he told reporters here. “If Telangana police comes to question me… I am not withdrawing my remarks. I stand by my remarks. The remarks are in the best interests of everyone. I have right to say that religious fundamentalism is a curse for the secular fabric of this country,” he said. He said during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh he had recommended ban on Students Islamic Movement of India, and the Bajarang Dal. “But only SIMI was banned by the then central government,” he claimed. Congress wanted modernisation of madrassas, he said. Singh was booked on a complaint by Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) leader Amjed Ullah Khan under IPC section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TN villagers refuse to back down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With support from students and celebrities pouring in, villagers of Neduvasal in Pudukottai district, decided on Monday to continue their peaceful protest until the Centre scraps the hydrocarbon extraction project in the village.The village has become a hotbed of citizen activism since the locals launched their protest on February 17 against the proposed project, which they fear will destroy their fertile lands, deplete the groundwater table, and cause seawater ingress.As the protest entered its 11th day on Monday, over 3,000 people from 80 adjoining villages of Neduvasal took the call to continue their demonstration until the government scraps the project.“We have decided not to accept any assurance given by the state or the central government other than an order to scrap the plan. Until then the protest will continue,” said Parthiban of Save Neduvasal Movement.No political parties or its leaders were allowed to participate, as the villagers want the protest to remain apolitical, unlike the Jallikattu protest that rocked Tamil Nadu last month. A social media campaign has also been launched to gather more support.Neduvasal village is inhabited by over 3,000 people who are dependant on agriculture for their livelihood. “The project will deplete groundwater and cause seawater ingress, directly impacting our farms and those in surrounding villages,” Parthiban told DNA.Villagers launched their protest on February 17 after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its nod to 31 contract areas across India including Neduvasal in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal in Puducherry on February 15, following the discovery of small fields of oil and gas. The two contract areas have an in-place volume of 4,30,000 metric tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gases, and are expected to generate gross revenue of Rs 300 crore, royalty to state government of Rs 40 crore, and additional employment for about 500 people.Prof S Janakarajan of the Madras Institute of Developmental Studies said, “To extract methane or shell gas or hydrocarbon, they will have to pump in a lot of chemicals, following which water and the gases pumped in it have to be brought out. It poses danger to the local population as these are poisonous gases, besides a threat to groundwater,” he said. The project could destroy the Cauvery delta and food security would be under serious threat, he claimed.Meanwhile, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, in a statement, said, “Oil and gas extraction is carried out from deeper earth area (generally > 1000m), and thus doesn’t affect groundwater aquifers which are located at shallower levels. Hydrocarbon extraction method is used worldwide, and has not reported any direct impact to water resources in the mining area.” Calling the concerns misplaced, it said that all petroleum operations require prior environmental clearances from the environment ministry, wherein public hearing is an integral part of obtaining these clearances.

West Bengal CM pays tribute to 1952 Language Movement martyrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Paying her tribute to the martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement (Bhasha Shahids) on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, West Bengal Chief Minister West Bengal Chief Minister today said all languages are equal and mother tongue should be used to express one’s views. “All languages are equal. Mother tongue must be for expressing views,” Banerjee tweeted this morning. “How can I forget February 21 spattered with my brothers’ blood. I pay my tribute to the martyrs of 1952 Language Movement,” Banerjee tweeted. Heartfelt greetings to all on the occasion of International Mother Language Day,” Banerjee added. February 21 corresponds to the day in 1952 when students from the University of Dhaka, Jagannath College and Dhaka Medical College, demonstrating for the recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of East Pakistan, were brutally shot dead by police, then under Pakistan government, near the Dhaka High Court in the capital of present-day Bangladesh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Deconstructing Pagan religions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Before the birth of Abrahamic religions and other monotheistic cultures, most parts of the world followed a variety of Pagan religions. These were mostly polytheistic religious practices with deities representing forces of nature as that is what man feared most. In what is commonly referred to as classical antiquity, and later in the middle-ages, Paganism, was widespread among Nordic, Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Pagan cultures existed across the world. In fact, most traditional Indian religions that were brought under the umbrella of the common Hindu way of life shared many similarities with Pagan religions from regions as far as Greece and Central Asia. In fact, the Greek and Roman pantheon is identical, just the names are different.Meanwhile, Indian goddess Saraswati has Greco-Roman counterparts in Athena/Minerva. Pagans also worshiped goddesses associated with rivers and water for their ability to create and sustain life. These include Anahita (Zoroastrian), Ganga (Indian), Tethys (Greek), Chalchiuhtclicue (Aztec) and Dewi Danu (Balinese). The word ‘Pagan’ comes from the Latin word ‘Paganus’ which meant ‘related to the country side’ or ‘village dweller’. It came to mean a person with little or no knowledge or what is popularly called ‘village bumpkin’. But the word Pagan wasn’t used until the early Christian Church began using it to describe people from distant rural places who were considered backward because they did not practice monotheism.‘Pagan’ was therefore considered a derogatory term until the early 20th century when Wiccans made Paganism ‘cool’ and acceptable again and re-branded it as neo-Paganism. Neo-Paganism is a group of new religious movements inspired by historical Pagan beliefs of pre-Christian Europe. Polytheism and animism is common among all these movements, however, they do not share any common text and maintain separate identities. Let’s take a look at some modern Pagan movements:Goddess MovementIt is a worship of the ‘sacred feminine’, something that was lost to patriarchal religions. Here the female form, sexuality and maternity are celebrated. The followers of this movement see matriarchy as natural, egalitarian and pacifistic as opposed to destructive and aggressive patriarchal cultures. Goddesses worshipped vary from region to region and include Diana, Hecate, Isis, Ishtar, Saraswati and Kali.HeathenryThis is also a neo-Pagan movement which aims at reviving the cultural beliefs and religions of Germanic people from the Iron Age and Early Medieval Europe. Heathen communities rely on historical records, archeological evidence as well as folklore for information about lifestyles in pre-Christian Europe. Scandinavian and Icelanding Old Norse mythological texts and old Anglo-Saxon folk tales are popular in this regard. Heathen communities are known as kindred’s or hearths, who gather together in specially constructed buildings to conduct their rituals which always involve raising a ceremonial toast of an alcoholic beverage to their deities. Some Heathens have however, unfortunately become rather racist and started associating with white supremacist movements.Neo-DruidismDruidry originated in England in the 18th century mainly as a cultural movement aimed at increasing appreciation for nature and how people are connected with it. The movement subsequently became spiritual and developed religious undertones with an increasing emphasis on nature worship and environmental protection. The neo-Druids adhere to no dogma and there is no central authority, it is just a form of nature-centred spirituality. Almost all Druids are animists, but some have elaborate ancestor worship rituals. Their festivals include celebrating the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes and Winter and Summer Solstice. Most rituals are carried out in day light outdoors. Neo-Druidry is popular in Britain and North America.WiccaIt is the fastest growing religion in the world. It was developed in England in the early twentieth century by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. While Wicca has no central authority, its core values are similar across various traditions (sects and denominations). Wicca is duotheistic, i.e., it has two deities, the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. You have probably seen the five point star or pentacle associated with witchcraft. It is just a harmless image depicting the five elements: Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Spirit. While Wicca talks about magic as a part of its rituals, it is actually defined as channelising one’s will to achieve a goal. An important Wiccan rule is that a follower of Wicca can never do any harm to another person. There is also the concept of Threefold Return, according to which if you do good or bad, it will ultimately come back to you with thrice its original intensity. This is a bit like the Indian concept of Karma. Though often used interchangeably with witchcraft, Wicca is distinct from Satanism and Luciferianism, whose followers also call themselves witches and wizards.

India activist Kailash Satyarthi’s stolen Nobel medal recovered

Three people have been arrested in connection with last week’s burglary in New Delhi, police say.

Without equality, there is unlikely to be much of a future: VP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stressing that without equality there is unlikely to be much of a future, Vice President Hamid Ansari today said rising inequality is seen as a contributing cause for the rise of authoritarian leaders, with a divisive agenda fuelled by sectarianism, xenophobia and nationalism. “While economists may continue to debate the extent and causes of inequality, there can be little doubt about its implications for the political, social and economic fabric of society,” Ansari said. “More worryingly, rising inequality is seen as a contributing cause for the rise of authoritarian leaders, often with a divisive agenda fuelled by sectarianism, xenophobia and nationalism,” he said. Rising inequality can lead to conflict, both at a social and national level, Ansari said, adding, “research has shown that in contrast to oligarchic regimes; democracies avoid serious political turbulence only so long as they ensure that the relative level of inequality between the rich and the poor does not become excessively large.” Ansari was speaking at The Hindu’s “The Huddle,” an interactive event with moment personalities from different walks of life. Noting that studies indicate that social conflicts are likely to break out in situations where there are large inequalities between different groups, he said some researches have concluded that ethnic groups with incomes much lower than country’s average per capita income are more likely to engage in civil war. “New protest movements have broken out around the world, many arguably rooted in burgeoning inequality,” he said citing the ‘Occupy Movement’ and the ‘Arab Spring’ as examples. Noting that growing Left extremism, which has been acknowledged as the “gravest” security threat to the Indian state, has its roots in economic deprivation and inequality in access to resources, Ansari said it has also been recognised that growing social inequality corrodes social cohesion and can destabilise states. He said some research has found that the likelihood of a country remaining mired in poverty or attaining sustainable growth has a strong relation to the average life expectancy of the citizenry. “There, it is argued, that a shorter average lifespan leaves less time to reap the returns on investment in human capital,” he added. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM urges saints to spread message on social reforms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged saints and religious institutions to take a lead in raising issues related to social reforms like ‘Swachh Bharat’, saying their word has a bigger impact than the government’s. Addressing the 7th centenary celebrations of Jagadguru Sri Madhvacharya being held in Udupi via video conferencing from Delhi, he said right from the time of Bhakti Movement, the saints and seers have encouraged the society to find within the remedies of ills plaguing it. He said the philosophy of ‘world is one family’ is the solution to fundamentalism, which is “the core of terror” and goes by the concept of ‘what I say is correct’. “There are several challenges and the ‘mathas’ (monasteries) and seers have played a key role in finding solutions…If we talk of swachh Bharat, their (saints’) word will have a bigger impact in spreading the message than the government’s,” he said. He said such learned people have always encouraged the society to understand that there is no religion bigger than humanity. Modi said societies across the globe have looked at India for answers in their times of crises, which is “the true recognition of our values”. The Prime Minister noted that Jagadguru Madhvacharya used to say that ‘you serve humanity just like you pay tax to the government’. He also praised Saint Kabir, saying he always worked for the upliftment of the poor and made sure that there is no discrimination over caste and religion.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jairam Ramesh slams Environment Ministry, says green conservation is a losing battle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader and former Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh today said environmental issues are primarily political matters and they have to be settled in political domains.”Today’s political appetite is not for environment and nature conservation, but for faster growth and development,” he said while delivering the annual Bodeswaran Foundation lecture here. Stating that he was a bit pessimistic about the future of nature conservation campaigns and movements in the country, Ramesh said environment conservation has become a ‘losing battle’ now-a-days. “Environmental issues are not social issues or ecological issues or economic issues. They are political fundamentally.They have to be settled in political domains. It is ultimately the political establishment and political class which has to take call on the matter,” he said. “In my view, the fight for environmental protection and conservation is a losing battle. It s an unpopular battle..it’s a battle which involves making difficult choices,” he said. Whether it was damming of rivers, protection of biodiversity or mining, the battle is between economic growth and conservation and conservation is taking a back stage now-a-days, he said.He also alleged that the Union Environment minister had yesterday sent a message to all his officials, telling them not to forget that “the priority of the government is ease of doing business” while considering environment proposals. These are the trends now-a-days, he claimed. Ramesh also said he was now remembered as the man who had brought down India’s economic growth and not as the one who tried to protect his environment for the pro-environment policies he took up during his tenure as Union minister.The leader, however, noted that people’s mindset would change if civil society takes on the challenge and carries forward the battle for nature conservation. “Situation is serious…the mindset is not in favour of conservation. So what we need is the creation of a broader coalition, cutting across political barriers,” he said. Referring to the four-decade-old Silent Valley movement of Kerala, he said it was the second most important landmark in the country’s environment history after the Chipko Movement.”It was not an easy fight. It was an unequal fight initially. Because all the influential political personalities were on one side and all the activists who really have no political influence were on the other side,” he said. He also mentioned that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had expressed her strong views on the Silent Valley even though the party was against the campaign. The annual lecture is organised by city-based Bodheswaran Foundation, in memory of eminent poet and social reformer Bodheswaran.

© 2020 Yuva Sai Sagar. Theme by Anders Norén.